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27. November 2011 07:47
by Rene Pallesen
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Playing with Lego

27. November 2011 07:47 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

playing with lego


The other day we were at Eastgardens shopping centre.

Lego had an area set aside where the kids could play with Lego (obviously to get the parents to buy them Lego for Christmas).


Obviously Aiden (and Dad) had to play for a while.







And Aiden also did some drawing (or at least he was playing with the colour pens)



27. November 2011 07:47
by Rene Pallesen
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Christmas Parade Darling Harbour

27. November 2011 07:47 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

christmas parade darling harbour


Last weekend we went with Lachlan and Na to Darling Harbour for dinner.

This also happened to be the night of the Christmas parade in Darling Harbour.



So there was a lot of entertainment such as the Three Wise Men.





And lots of people dressed as Santa.



And Elves.

22. November 2011 02:17
by Rene Pallesen
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Building Sandcastles

22. November 2011 02:17 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

building sandcastles


On the weekend we went tot he beach. Initially Aiden was a bit scared of the waves (although he loves the sand and the water)...but after a while he didn't mind the waves splashing around his little legs (I found the water cold but he didn't mind).




As usual he threw a tandrum when we pulled him out of the water.



Afterwards we spend some time in the sand and I was teaching him how to build really cool sand castles and he was teaching me how to demolish them.



22. November 2011 02:13
by Rene Pallesen
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Swimming Pool

22. November 2011 02:13 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

swimming pool


The other weekend we took Aiden to the swimming pool.

He is really happy with water now and loves splashing around. He is no longer afraid of it and doesn't mind getting his head under water.



Only problem now is that he throws a tandrum every time we have to leave the pool.

22. November 2011 02:03
by Rene Pallesen
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Sculpture by the Sea 2011

22. November 2011 02:03 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

sculpture by the sea 2011


This year I didn't get a chance to go to Sculpture by the sea during the daytime, but I did have some time to go there one evening after we had put Aiden to bed.

I had seen some daylight photos from the exhibition from Tamarama beach where they had these 'Easter Island' type statues. I thought I could do some really cool night time Off-Camera-Flash photos using just ordinary flashes.

When I got there it was almost pitch black darkness...perfect.

I got my gear set up and managed to take the following shot which was exactly what I envisioned in my head.



While there I had a look at a couple of the other sculptures in the area...I did shoot the following photo of this 2 meter tall red chinaman sculpture.

24. October 2011 01:20
by Rene Pallesen
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Booze, Fighting and Cops - in Mudgee

24. October 2011 01:20 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

booze fighting and cops in mudgee


This weekend we went with a couple of friends to a place in New South Wales called Mudgee. This place is about 270 kilometres from Sydney on the other side of the mountains and is best known as a wine district.

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On the way there we did a quick stop at Lake Windamere, famous for its dead trees in the water.

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We arrived to Mudgee after about 5 hours of driving (including a couple of brief stops) and had some lunch with Chris and Yvonne. While in Mudgee we did some jump shots of Chris and I pretending to fight (obviously I did some creative editing to get to this final result).


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After lunch we headed to a couple of wineries. We were immediately impressed, some of the local Cab Savs. and some of the whites were excellent and Kim and I walked away with quite a few bottles from the first couple of places we visited. The wines were also more reasonable priced than the Hunter.


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Late in the afternoon we headed to the Bed and Breakfast where we staying for the night. This was a place run by an elderly couple with 4 dogs, 7-8 Alpacas, mini horses and some cattle.

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Before dinner we did a quick stop to take some sunset photos. It was a very quick stop, because within 5 minutes from us arriving at the location the sun disappeared behind a thick cover of clouds and the good light was gone.

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Chris and I had been planning to do some star photography of the Milky Way. The weather forecast wasn't promising, but after dinner is seemed to clear up a bit so we decided to give it a go.
We hadn't scoped out any good location so it was a bit of a trial and error to find a good place. The trick with start photography is to also include an interesting foreground subject into the photo.
The first place we stopped was next to a vineyard and although the Milky Way was reasonably clear the grapes weren't that interesting.

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We therefore headed up some of the back streets. On this paddock we found this really old truck parked in an almost perfect position...it was something different.
While we were setting up dogs started barking at the property behind us and after a few minutes all the outside lights came on and a woman came out and asked what we were doing.
Chris said that we were just taking some photos and if she was alright with that.
She went back into the house, but the dogs kept barking at us. After another couple of minutes she returned and asked us to leave because we were disturbing her dogs and parents.

We were on public property so we could have told here that we wouldn't leave and that we were in our rights to be there, but sometimes it is better to not push the issue, especially when you are just visiting the area.

Instead we found an area with some trees...alright, but not that interesting and by that time the Milky Way had started setting in the horizon.

Next morning we met up with Sacha (he's driven up from Sydney in the morning) to go and visit another couple of vineries (We bought more wine).


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And Aiden loved all the attention and new locations.

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On the way home we were planning to stop at the Blast Furnace Park in Lithgow. As we drive into the city we passed a couple of police cars. I was going a few kilometres over the speed limit and hit the brakes as soon as I saw them. A couple of kilometres further down the road the cars came up behind me with their lights on and I thought..."Damn, I got busted", but I was really surprised when they went past me without stopping...I was even more surprised when they pulled over Chris in front of me.
He was busted for driving his car without a valid registration (he had forgotten to pay it a few weeks earlier), given a fine and they told him that he was not allowed to drive any further without a valid registration.

After the cops left he quickly went on the internet and renewed all the paperwork online so we were able to keep going.

The blast furnace is an old iron smelter dating back to more than 100 years ago when a lot of iron was dug out of the surrounding area and processed here to produce steel. It is interesting walking around the old ruins of which much of the building foundation still exists.

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We also used this as an opportunity for some more fighting jump shots.

After this it was back to Sydney...

7. October 2011 07:17
by Rene Pallesen
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Aiden 16 Months

7. October 2011 07:17 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

aiden 16 months


Aiden is now 16 Months and he is now able to crawl and stand up. He is slowly starting to walk (a few metres at a time) when supported by a walker but he is still not able to walk unsupported. He also likes sitting on this little car we have for him, racing around the lounge room.


He favourite foods are Strawberries, Mango, Durian and Yoghurt.

We did another photo shoot the other day with his favorite teddy called 'Scout'

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25. August 2011 03:30
by Rene Pallesen
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Zagreb Inner City - Croatia

25. August 2011 03:30 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

zagreb part 2 croatia


The next day was spent exploring the inner city itself. Surprisingly there are not a lot of turists in Zagreb. Most of the places were went to seemed to be mostly locals. It is not loke other capital cities where you see a lot of tour groups etc. Here we sometime had the feeling that we were the only tourists.


The In the morning we explored the horse shoe shaped parks and all their buildings. These parks are have a lot of buildings such as the University and the National Theatre located in them.

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This is the National Theatre with the Fountain of Life in front of it.


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One of the statues is of St George slaying the dragon.


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We also had a look at the Dolac market in the middle of the city.


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In the afternoon we also explored some of the churches although some of them were closed for us to visit inside (Maybe because it was Sunday).

This is the St Marks church. The roof tiles show the coat of arms of Croatia and Slovenia. The church also has the Croatian Parliament located next to it so a lot of police and security looking at me suspeciously while setting up my tripod.


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We also made it to the big cathedral which apparently is under constant renovation.


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We also went to the Stone Gate that contains a status of the Virgin Mary that micraculously escaped being destroyed in a fire. All the locals would come here to light a candle.


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In the late afternoon we went to the Strossmayer Promenade. This is a place where the local artists sell and display some of their work and also contains a rather special statue.


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Aiden was very facinated by this strange man sitting on a park bench.

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...And next day it is time for the long journey back to Australia.

24. August 2011 04:31
by Rene Pallesen
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Zagreb Park, Zoo and Cemetry - Croatia

24. August 2011 04:31 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

zagreb croatia


Before heading back to Australia we spent a couple of days in Croatias capital Zagreb.

Kim had found us accomodation at the Best western which was centrally located very close to the centre of Zagreb and just across one of the big parks.

One of the advantages of this hotel was that there was plenty of parking at the hotel and it would have been difficult/expensive to park on the street otherwise.

Driving in Zagreb was a real challenge. It was full of one way streets with lots of road works. There were lots of bicycles and there were trams everywhere.


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After arriving we went for a walk across to the park and square and along the way we didn't see many restaurants so I stopped at a tourist information to ask them where we should go to find a selection on places. When we went to those places later in the evening there were hardly any restaurants. There were a lot of bars serving drinks and the places were packed, but they were not restaurants.

We eventually found a place and the food was very nice, but this was pretty much the trend for Zagreb, lots of people going out for drinks, but very few people going out dining. I am not sure if this was a cultural thing or just because of the costs associated with going out.

Next day we did find the one of the old streets had loads of restaurants but still nowhere the variety we had seen elsewhere on our travels.

Next morning we decided to first visit some of the places that were on the outshirts of the inner city and required us to have transport. We first went to the Maksimir Park which also has a zoo. The park itself doesn't have much in terms of scenery and facilities although it is nice enough.

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The building for the cafe (Kiosk) in the middle of the park was was in bad need of some maintenance with large pieces of rendering and paint falling off the building.

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The Zoo was pleasant and they had a large selection of different animals. It was really hot in there so the zoo keeper were spraying them with water to cool them down a bit.

The most exciting specimen in the park was this lot of Homisapiens...very rare and irreplaceable.

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Next was the Mirogoj cemetry. This is the oldest cemetry in Zagreb and is absolutely amazing in terms of the graves there. Some of the graves belonged to old families and I counted some that had 15 family members buried there dating back to the early 18 hundreds.

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The place was huge, the really old section would have been at least 500 metres long as was very beautifully set up.

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The following day we decided to explore the inner city of Zagreb. at the hotel we had picked up a "Zagreb Step-by-step" guide. This turned out to be the best tourist guide I have ever seen. It was very comprehensible and provided us with a very logical route to follow. It was so good that I was able to provide ongoing commentary to Kims video. I brough back a copy of the guide which I intend to send to NSW tourism when I am done with it.

23. August 2011 02:04
by Rene Pallesen
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Lubjiana - Slovenia

23. August 2011 02:04 by Rene Pallesen | 0 Comments

lubjiana slovenia


On the way back to Zagreb in Croatia we decided to visit Lubjiana the capital of Slovenia as we had to pass through here anyway.

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The old city was pedistrians only and was very nice and very clean and with small canals running through it.

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There cathedral there has these amazing bronze doors.

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There were a number of water water fountains and I let Aiden have a splash to the point where he was all soaked, but fortunately is was really warm so he dried quickly.

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The butchers bridge is a new bridge. People who are in love put padlocks on the sides of the bridge to symbolise their unbreakable love for eachother (I wonder if they keed the key just in case or whether they throw it the river).

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The Bridge also have some really special art pieces.

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It is a fairly old city, so I expected a lot of stairs and a lot of carrying Aiden up and down. I was surprised as there were ramps everywhere and I didn't have to carry him once. I think it is because a lot of people use bicycles (they have a free bicycle system similar to Copenhagen).

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The Tivoli park area was a really nice and relaxing area with a cute little 'Mansion' in the centre.

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One of the things that amazed me was that they had a fantastic outdoor location for a permanent exhibition of photographs and artwork from different artists. When we were there is was a Serbian artist exhibiting his works and there were some really good pieces there.

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